Get inspired by the Northshore's art spaces. Here's a day's worth of gallery-hopping.
Get thee fortified with strong coffee and a great breakfast at Mattina Bella in downtown Covington before hitting the historic district's art galleries and shops.
The historic St. John District is home to a number of galleries, starting with Columbia Street and the St. Tammany Art Association at the center of it all. Housed in a 19th Century building known as the “Art House,” the nonprofit hosts studio art classes, three galleries and community events throughout the year. The Miriam Barranger Gallery displays continuous rotating exhibitions by local and national artists, and the Severson and Williamson Galleries hold fine art and crafts by members working in a variety of media. Shoppers will also find books by and about local artists, handmade jewelry and accessories and other gift items. Before you go, be sure to check out the courtyard facing Columbia, a shady respite with places to sit with a picnic among lush plants, flowers, vine-wrapped trees, and a gently-flowing fountain.
Across the street is Tripolo Gallery, exhibiting fine contemporary art by highly-collected artists from across the region. A short stroll north to Gibson Street is the studio and shop of Marianne Angeli Rodriguez Gallery, featuring vibrant, gestural paintings on canvas and paper by the artist whose designs have been featured in fashions and accessories by Anthropologie.
Head south on Columbia to tree-lined Rutland you’ll find Rutland Street Gallery between Florida Street and Lee Lane. Featuring over a dozen fine artists, you’ll find paintings, pottery, photography, antiques, jewelry, notecards, gifts and more.
You don’t want to miss S A L A D I N O Gallery, just a hop over to Boston Street, across from Southern Hotel. The new structure houses a family of well established, mid-career and up-and-coming artists and a cool patio.
Then head out of downtown Covington on Hwy. 190 south for Impastato Gallery to see colorful paintings by four local artists featuring acrylics, oils and more.
Make the short drive back north on Hwy. 190 for Hwy. 36 to Abita Springs for a visit to the Abita Mystery House at the UCM Museum. The Mystery House is a roadside attraction-like emporium of found objects, interactive installations, Southern humor, and outsider art, sprung from the brain of John Preble. Then check out the cultural exhibit at the Trailhead Museum, nestled beside Abita's historic two-story gazebo. Take a break and cool off in the trailhead plaza's water feature next to the park, or stop into the Abita Brew Pub for a glass of Abita Beer’s seasonal brews, on draft.
Leaving Abita on Hwy. 59 south to Hwy. 190, head west toward Causeway Approach. Along the way, you’ll find a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes, including Café Lynn, with French and Creole cuisine from chef/owner Joey Najolia. Next on your journey is Mandeville City Hall for monthly rotating exhibits by the city’s Artist of the Month. Though they are a bit spread out, you’ll want to be sure to include The Cypress House and Pineapple Gallery in your travels for more contemporary art by local painters and fine craft artists.
Olde Towne is the heart of Slidell’s cultural life, with lots of galleries, shops, and eateries within walking distance from each other.
Explore the talents of East St. Tammany artists as well as traveling exhibitions at the Slidell Cultural Center at City Hall on Second Street. The exhibition space presented by the City of Slidell hosts regular shows, competitions, and exhibits. Over on Carey Street is I.D.eel Design, whose metal artwork focuses on New Orleans architecture and Louisiana culture and wildlife. Across Front Street from Olde Towne is the historic Slidell Train Depot at 1827 Front St, home to an active Amtrak whistle stop, Times Grill & Bar, and Lori's Art Depot & Community Center for the Arts, a retail shop for local artist Lori Gomez as well as a multi-disciplinary arts hub offering art classes. It also has two pianos for the public to play, a Saturday art market, live music on Saturday nights and presents various special events.
Hungry for more vacation itineraries? To see them all, click here.